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Old 05-18-2018, 04:50 PM   #1
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What bus should I buy

Hey everyone!! I am going down the path of looking for the right bus to buy. I want a full-size rig. I am leaning towards something with the engine up front with a hood. Iíve heard great things about the international engine that is in the ford power stroke 7.3 liter. I just donít know what would be best to look for. Hopefully someone can point me in the right direction..
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:54 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by chums322 View Post
Hey everyone!! I am going down the path of looking for the right bus to buy. I want a full-size rig. I am leaning towards something with the engine up front with a hood. Iíve heard great things about the international engine that is in the ford power stroke 7.3 liter. I just donít know what would be best to look for. Hopefully someone can point me in the right direction..
Go to Skoolie.net and read and search all you can. That'll be a great head start. Your question can't be answered. You're going to get pointed in many directions without knowing a heck of a lot more about what your intentions are. The search bar here works well.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by chums322 View Post
Hey everyone!! I am going down the path of looking for the right bus to buy. I want a full-size rig. I am leaning towards something with the engine up front with a hood. Iíve heard great things about the international engine that is in the ford power stroke 7.3 liter. I just donít know what would be best to look for. Hopefully someone can point me in the right direction..
The correct response is Gillig Phantom...

Seriously though, I found these articles helpful.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:08 PM   #4
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Asking which bus to purchase is a rather open ended question.

There are four different and distinct types of school buses, transit buses, commercial buses, and motorcoaches. Each can be converted and will work if it meets the needs of the owner.

The questions you need to ask yourself:
  • where are you going to use your bus
  • how many people are going to be going with you to use your bus
  • what time of the year are you going to use your bus
  • how tall are you
  • how many miles are you going to drive your bus every year
  • are you going to be doing most of your traveling on the interstate system or secondary roads
All of those questions will help to determine what kind of bus you want.

A bus for driving to the ends of the roads out in the wildlands is probably not going to be the best bus for driving on the interstate.

If you have a family with six kids you are going to need a larger bus than if it is just going to be you and your dog.

If you don't plan on going up into the mountains in the winter or the desert in the summer the amount of insulation you need is not going to be as much as if you do plan to do those sorts of activities.

If you are 6'6" tall you are going to need to think in terms of a low floor transit bus or plan on raising the roof. If you are 6'0" tall you might be able to get away with a bus with the high roof option. If you are 5'8" tall a bus with the standard height roof will work fine for you.

If you plan on traveling less than 1000 miles per year the power package isn't going to be nearly as important as it would be if you were traveling more than 1000 miles per month.

If you are going to be traveling lots of miles every month and doing most of those miles on the interstate at highway speeds the power package is going to need to be big HP and highway gearing. If you are going to be poking around on back roads at 45 MPH a bus that tops out at 60 MPH will be more than adequate.

Regardless of what kind of bus you decide will work the best for you the one caveat you need to be very aware of is don't purchase a rust bucket. Unless you are purchasing it for the power package, axles, tires, or wheels a rust bucket isn't worth the effort. Any $$$ saved on the purchase will be eaten up on rust repair.

Get back to us with specific questions and we will try to help you find a good bus.

Good luck!
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:44 AM   #5
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The correct response is Gillig Phantom...



Seriously though, I found these articles helpful.


I did my daily bus reading last night and learned a lot from that website. It has a lot of great basic facts.

I want to buy a bus that will have plenty of power for my highway speeds and have it paired to a transmission that will allow me to have the bus cruise at 70mph. Iím hoping this exists.

I would prefer to have an engine where parts are relatively cheap and I can find a mechanic Incase something were to happen. Iím thinking that the Cummins 8.3 tied to a high speed transmission would be the best.

I plan on driving this vehicle to many national parks throughout the country. I plan on putting on at most 2,000 miles on this bus a month. I have a corporate job and only have a certain amount of vacation days per year. Sooo, this means that I will try to take this thing on weekend trips all the time as well.

After reading I think that I should go for a pusher bus with the engine in the rear.

I also own a 16ft trailer that I keep my ATVs on. At some point I would like to pull two ATVs.

The bus would only be for myself and future wife at some point. Iím still debating about having some sort of area for two more to ride along with us.

I am 6í5Ē and will definitely plan to have the roof raised. While doing the roof raise I will swap out all the windows for some that will be more efficient.

I will definitely be placing an Air conditioning unit in the bus but havenít decided between a mini split or a roof top unit..

Let me know what you all think.. definitely open for suggestions.
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Old 05-20-2018, 03:11 AM   #6
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It sounds as if you have narrowed the field to a workable number of choices.

You haven't told us where you are. Of if you have I missed that memo. Knowing that can be helpful in directing you towards a bus that might meet your criteria.
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:23 AM   #7
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A large bus may be kinda a downer for you at national parks. From what I read alot of national parks wont park 40' rvs. Dont hold me to it I have never been. But sure someone will chime in on this. May want a mid size bus.
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Old 05-20-2018, 02:39 PM   #8
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This is the reason we made the under 25 foot bus a dealer breaker requirement . all the good campgrounds at national parks and other rock climbing destinations tend to be 25 feet and under . it took awhile to get a clean non van conversion short bus but it was worth the weight
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:00 AM   #9
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This is the reason we made the under 25 foot bus a dealer breaker requirement . all the good campgrounds at national parks and other rock climbing destinations tend to be 25 feet and under . it took awhile to get a clean non van conversion short bus but it was worth the weight


Thanks for the info... I was really looking forward to making the purchase of a longer bus.. hmmmm... I am going to have to talk this over with the decision maker (#HappyWifeHappyLife). I think I may look into pulling an Old Jeep behind our bus and maybe we can park the bus near by and just take the Jeep to the park when we end up going.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:04 AM   #10
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It sounds as if you have narrowed the field to a workable number of choices.

You haven't told us where you are. Of if you have I missed that memo. Knowing that can be helpful in directing you towards a bus that might meet your criteria.


I currently live in Dallas, Texas. I would like to make some visits back to Park City, Utah and hit up every town in between.

As for finding a bus that meets my needs. Iím more than happy to hold out for the right bus. I want to keep my purchase price to around $5k which I believe is easily doable. Along with that my best friend has a dealers license so I could purchase a bus from a dealers auction.

What do you recommend?
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